6 ways to attract repeat traffic to your blog

A batch of one-time patrons is not enough to sustain any business endeavor. Use these tips to ensure that visitors stay on your site, come back for more and eventually become customers.

You’ve been creating consistent blog posts for a while, but you aren’t getting as much traffic as you’d like. It’s time to get to the root of the problem.

Google Analytics may tell you that even though you’re bringing in new readers, they don’t visit your site a second time. Though you might be producing blog posts regularly, incorporating SEO-friendly keywords and paying for advertisements, your work won’t pay off unless you attract regular readers who convert to subscribers and, ultimately, buy from you.

According to research from Chartbeat, 55 percent of people spend fewer than 15 seconds on a Web page. This is very little time to grab visitors’ attention and ensure that they return.

To guarantee that your potential leads click through and browse your site more than once, put these tips into action:

1. Construct an attractive, clean design for desktop and mobile.

Your website design is the first thing visitors notice. It should be clean, inviting and easy to navigate for people using mobile and desktop devices. Avoid too many buttons and social media icons, and do away with Flash, pop-ups, hover menus and large images that take a while to load on a mobile screen.

Instead of using bold colors, go for a natural palette on your website that will differentiate your various pages from one another. Your typography should be simple and uniform, and it should work with a number of browsers. Don’t let videos auto-play, as that eats up data for mobile users and distracts desktop visitors.

For guidance, check out the website for Vox, which is simple and easy to navigate.

2. Generate unique content.

According to Kapost, brands posting 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. Fresh content is what attracts visitors to your website in the first place and keeps them coming back. Aside from product launches or new items being released in your online store, why else would they return to an otherwise static site?

Your content should appeal to your core demographic and their needs. Do some research to find out what nobody else in your niche is covering; then, take it on. Look into what topics are trending, and add your unique spin.

Check out Seth Godin’s blog for interesting content that stands out in the marketing world. He writes differently, so he gets a lot of attention.

3. Provide a compelling offer.

Visitors may not be 100 percent on board with your content. However, they might come back if they are offered something in return. Consider running a contest. You can then post a few entries about the rules of the contest and what the winners will receive, and then announce the winners through your blog.

You could also provide discounts exclusively to your blog readers, or give them access to your latest video or an e-book that you’d normally charge for. While visitors are on your site looking for deals, searching for contest guidelines, or clicking on your e-book, they might just buy from you, too. Look at Love, Mrs. Mommy, and see how the owner promoted a contest on it.

4. Improve speed and usability.

Slow websites kill traffic. According to Kinsta, every one-second delay in loading time leads to a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction and an 11 percent drop in page views. Your visitors won’t be patient enough to return to a slow site.

To solve this problem, invest in a capable host that can stand up to demand. Better yet, you can implement a content delivery network, which will cache content on data centers in different parts of the globe, speeding up delivery to users regardless of their location. A CDN will also provide front-end fixes—such as image optimization, compression and minifying—so your website loads quickly wherever visitors are accessing it. Here is a display from Incapsula that shows how a CDN enables you to optimize images.

5. Encourage email subscriptions.

Your website should include a call to action to sign up for your email newsletter. Then, when you send out your newsletter, include snippets of your posts and links to the full posts within the emails. If these segments are compelling, subscribers will click, and you’ll increase your visitor count. Make sure you can see the button or email sign-up form clearly, as on EndClothing.com.

6. Tell interesting, long-form stories-and try using a serial format.

Why do people binge-watch Netflix shows or eagerly await the newest episodes of their favorite television shows from week to week? It’s because creators are telling gripping tales that get people to tune in. Treat your blog the way TV producers treat their shows. This means revealing stories through your blog that span multiple posts.

For instance, you might want to conduct a study and release the results through a few posts over the course of a week. You can also discuss a relatable story with your readers that you split into parts. If you have exclusive information that no one else does, don’t give it up all in one post. This is what DIY Themes did on its blog.

First-time visitors are great, but return visitors will be much more loyal to your brand and more easily persuaded to buy from your organization. By drawing them in with excellent content, design and follow-up methods, you can turn your blog into a revenue generator.

Kylie Ora Lobell is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and content marketer. She’s been featured on NewsCred, Social Media Examiner, CMO.com, Postano, Vertical Response, and The Content Strategist. A version of this article originally appeared on Convince & Convert.

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